The Oxford Handbook of Edmund Spenser

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Written by a team of international experts, the forty-two essays in The Oxford Handbook of Edmund Spenser examine the entire canon of Spenser's work and the social and intellectual environments in which it was produced, providing new readings of the texts, extensive analysis of former criticism, and up-to-date bibliographies. Section I, 'Contexts', elucidates the circumstances in which the poetry and prose were written, and suggests some of the major political, social, and professional issues with which the work engages. Section 2, 'Works', presents a series of new readings of the canon informed by the most recent scholarship. Section 3, 'Poetic Craft', provides a detailed analysis of what Spenser termed the poet's 'cunning', the linguistic, rhetorical, and stylistic skills that distinguish his writing. Section 4, 'Sources and Influences', examines a wide range of subtexts, intertexts ,and analogues that contextualise the works within the literary conventions, traditions and genres upon which Spenser draws and not infrequently subverts. Section 5, 'Reception', grapples with the issue of Spenser's effect on succeeding generations of editors, writers, painters, and book-illustrators, while also attempting to identify the most salient and influential strands in the critical tradition. The volume serves as both companion and herald to the Oxford University Press edition of Spenser's Complete Works. No 'agreed' view of Spenser emerges from this work or is intended to. The contributors approach the texts from a variety of viewpoints and employ diverse methods of critical interpretation with a view to stimulating informed discussion and future scholarship.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Offers a magisterial summation of current scholarship...For at least the next decade, this will be the place where graduate students first turn." --Studies in English Literature 1500-1900

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199227365
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/14/2011
  • Series: Oxford Handbooks Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 852
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 2.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard A. McCabe is Fellow of Merton College, and Professor of English Language and Literature at Oxford University. He was elected FBA in 2007. He is author of Joseph Hall: A Study in Satire and Meditation (1982), The Pillars of Eternity: Time and Providence in 'The Faerie Queene' (1989), Incest, Drama, and Nature's Law 1550-1700 (1993), and Spenser's Monstrous Regiment: Elizabethan Ireland and the Poetics of Difference (2002). He has edited Edmund Spenser: The Shorter Poems for Penguin (1999). With Howard Erskine-Hill he co-edited Presenting Poetry: Composition, Publication, Reception (1995), and with David Womersley Literary Milieux: Essays in Text and Context presented to Howard Erskine-Hill.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Richard A. McCabe
List of contributors
Section 1: Contexts
1. Spenser's Life, Willy Maley
2. Spenser and Religion, Claire McEachern
3. Spenser and Politics, David Baker
4. Spenser's Secretarial Career, Andrew Zurcher & Chris Burlinson
5. Spenser's Plantation, Ciaran Brady
6. Spenser's Patrons and Publishers, Wayne Erickson
7. Spenser's Biographers, Paul D. Stegner
Section 2: Works
8. A Theatre for Worldlings (1569), Tom MacFaul
9. The Shepheardes Calender (1579), Clare Kinney
10. Letters (1580), Joseph Campana
11. The Faerie Queene (1590), Linda Gregerson
12. Complaints, Daphnaida (1591), Mark Rasmussen
13. Colin Clovts, Astrophel (1595), Patrick Cheney
14. Amoretti and Epithalamion (1595), Roland Greene
15. The Faerie Queene (1596), Elizabeth Jane Bellamy
16. Fowre Hymnes, Prothalamion (1596), David Lee Miller
17. A View of the Present State of Ireland (1596, 1633), Elizabeth Fowler
18. Two Cantos of Mutabilitie (1609), Gordon Teskey
19. 'Lost Works', Suppositious Pieces, and Continuations, Lisa Celovsky & Joseph Black
Section 3: Poetic Craft
20. Spenser's Language(s), Dorothy Stephens
21. Spenser's Metrics, Jeff Dolven
22. Spenser's Genres, Colin Burrow
23. Spenser and Rhetoric, Peter Mack
24. Emblem, Allegory and Symbol, Kenneth Borris
25. Authorial Self-presentation, Richard A. McCabe
Section 4: Sources and Influences
26. Spenser and the Bible, Carol Kaske
27. Spenser and Classical Literature, Syrithe Pugh
28. Spenser and Philosophy, Andrew Escobedo
29. Spenser and Historiography, Bart van Es
30. Spenser, Chaucer and Medieval Romance, Andrew King
31. Spenser and Neo-Latin Literature, Lee Piepho
32. Spenser and Sixteenth-Century Poetics, Elizabeth Heale
33. Spenser and Italian Literature, Jason Lawrence
34. Spenser and French Literature, Anne Lake Prescott
Section 5: Reception
35. Spenser's Textual History, Joe Loewenstein
36. Spenser's Literary Influence, Michelle O'Callaghan
37. Spenser and the Visual Arts, Claire Preston
38. The Formalist Tradition, David Wilson-Okamura
39. The Historicist Tradition, John D. Staines
40. Gender Studies, Theresa Krier
41. Psychoanalytical Criticism, Elizabeth D. Harvey
42. Postcolonial Spenser, Andrew Hadfield

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